When Is It Time To Give Up?

Topic 33707 | Page 1

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Josh F.'s Comment
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I have had my CDL for a couple of months now and have been out of my 3 week training period and already I’m feeling very discouraged. Before my current company I drove a switcher for a small yard and earned a reputation for bumping trailers. This was before I got my cdl, when I had my permit. Unfortunately I was removed from switcher because I knocked over a concrete pole in the lot the week I got my cdl in the mail. Not wanting to give up yet I switched companies about a month and a half ago. In that time I ran over 2 stop signs (city driving) and already lost my safety incentive for 3 months due to scraping my brush guard against a concrete barricade making a left turn pulling out a trailer right next to a wall. Today though has made me wonder if I made a poor career choice. My gps kept messing up, took my down a non truck route, and in trying to get out of the area I ripped out a tv cable, thankfully it wasn’t the main power cable. My question is, when is it time to say I gave it my best but trucking isn’t the job for me? Ironically enough I haven’t had any problems backing anywhere just with everything else. Am I being too hard on myself? Are these the things that all truckers do at first? Right now I’m feeling defeated and hopeless. I really wanted this career to work


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Banks's Comment
member avatar

It's not too often you hear about a driver having issues going forward and none going backwards.

I don't know if it's over confidence or just negligence causing these issues, but it's not normal. I think you're not being hard enough on yourself. My employer would've already disqualified you with this many accidents.

I started out doing city work and I didn't have any of the issues you're having.

My gps kept messing up, took my down a non truck route

That's on you, not the GPS. It's poor planning. When I was going into an area I was unfamiliar with, I wouldn't pull out of the yard without a solid plan. I'd ask experienced drivers questions and paid very close attention to the signs in the area. Diligence and prudence is key, especially in city driving.

My question is, when do you plan on taking responsibility for these accidents and start changing your habits?

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

It may not be upto you at this point, that is a lot of accidents in a very short time. I think you need to reevaluate how you handle yourself on the road, it looks like you haven't learned from any mistakes.

You probably won't be hireable with any other company, so I would do anything and everything you can to keep your job.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

The only common element in all your accidents is you. I'm not saying that to be mean. It means the thought process should be identifying what you are doing or failing to do that is causing you to wreck. If you identify it, you can eliminate it.

Introspection would solve a lot of issues. Are you not paying attention, nervous, not getting enough sleep? Bad depth perception?

Some people just have poor physical abilities, which make it hard to develop physical motorskills. But logic would dictate thst if you can successfully back the vehicle, you should be able to drive it forward. Although you said you had a reputation for bumping trailers?

If you can't take responsibility for your choices and figure out what's causing you to wreck, it may not be in the cards for you to drive.


Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

BK's Comment
member avatar

It’s tough to say what the problem is or to advise you on quitting or not based on the limited information in your posting.

Do you have any way to get an experienced driver to ride along with you for a day or two to observe and evaluate?

In my previous profession, construction, I saw many beginners try, but some just could not develop the physical skills necessary to be successful. However, they went on to be successful at something else. Others moved on and I don’t know what they eventually did for other work, but at least I didn’t have to see them cut their fingers off or hurt someone else with their carelessness or clumsiness. There was no shame in their moving on to something else when it became obvious they didn’t have the aptitude necessary to continue. That is why I think you should try to get evaluated by an actual observer.

Seabee-J's Comment
member avatar

It sounds like carelessness more than aptitude, most anyone with fully functioning senses can learn to and drive safely even large vehicles . Some learn quickly others start a little more rough but the OP sounds like they are constantly rushing and just not being conscientious about what he's doing. He DID get his license so he's technically been cleared that he can operate safely on a basic level . These seem to be incidents of just not paying attention to what you're doing .

Zen Joker 's Comment
member avatar

Josh , there are two critical things to get drilled into your head if you intend to keep any type of career path in trucking.

1) I can guarantee you 100% and there aren’t too many 100% guarantees in life but I would bet you that deed to my house with a 100% guarantee. Your GPS will always at some point take you somewhere you don’t belong. The GPS is a tool, don’t let it be your brain, use Google Maps and Google Earth to identify non-truck routes, and most of all, read signs before making any turns, or proceeding down any street. It’s your job to know this ahead of time and no carrier will have any sympathy for you as there are a lot of tools to help you do proper trip planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

2) Trailers though they are inanimate objects only have two goals in life. The first is to transport freight. The second is to get the driver a preventable accident. Always watch your wagon and ALWAYS get out and look. G.O.A.L. If don’t GOAL and FILG instead (F**k It Let’s Go) your future will be doomed in this industry.

I hope you can assess your situation and find a new opportunity and invest the lessons you’ve learned to advance your career.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Josh, one question I have for you is this: is driving something you like and enjoy and is it like a dream to be a driver?

There are many successful people in every profession who got off to a rocky start. But it was their dream or goal, so they toughed it out and became proficient. So if driving is something you would love to do for your career, don’t give up too easily.

Pepe S.'s Comment
member avatar

Man, did that story ever sound familiar. I’ve been trucking for 16 months now and, while not as bad as yours, I had plenty of screw ups my first three months.

I got lucky. My manager had been out of the office when I racked them up and so he took mercy on me. He had me sit down with a safety trainer to discuss my accidents, gave me a stern talking to, and I improved and kept my job.

Here’s how I improved: I stopped rushing myself. I started thinking two steps ahead all the time to avoid getting into a jam. I looked at (and I mean really looked at) my mirrors with every turn; not only to see if I was about to hit anything but also to internalize the relation between what my foot and hands were doing and what the trailer was doing. I started taking my time with every maneuver; I started thinking “I’d rather be the trucker everybody else is talking about for a couple minutes because it took me too long to back up, than the trucker their talking about for weeks because I hit a building, or worse).

Your particular situation: I can’t say. It’s always a good idea to have a Plan B lined up. But if, by the grace of God, you get another chance, that’s the way forward. It was for me, anyway.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Many drivers think GOAL only applies whem backing. ANY tight quarters situation is the PERFECT place to get out and look.

As we move into winter, another consideration is those "lumps of snow" in parking lots. Voice of experience - sometimes they are rocks. BMF rocks.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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